A rose by any other name

A rose by any other name

… would smell just as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Sweet and soft… still thorny

This frequently paraphrased quote (maybe I hear it more than others) comes from an excerpt of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The common interpretation is: something is not changed by the name it has been assigned. Within the context of the literary piece, Juliet’s wanting to be with Romeo was not allowed due to his and her families dislike for one another. Juliet wise words were to say a last name and the family of origin does not make a person. Unfortunately for both of these fictional characters, Juliet’s opinion could not over through their harsh reality.  

Even in today’s world our names hold meaning, in some countries, the last name (or surname as most call it) still maintains not only a class but also a reputation, often dictating the individual’s acceptable path in life. Right or wrong, names typically come with an association, some leverage this for branding purposes (thinking of the family with the last name beginning with K) while others must push back a stigma and may suffer because of their name.

 

Roses smell like… 

Stepping away from family names, let’s talk about Juliet’s example using flowers. In recent times people are loosing their sense of smell – if blindfolded and even without smell, a person might still identify a rose by feeling its soft petals combined with its sharp thorns. The characteristics of the flower let us identify the type – so whereas Juliet’s quandary regarding her love’s surname is valid, the reverse is not only true but also applicable. The characteristics of an object or person can most likely easily identify that object or person (remember that game “Guess Who?”?).

 

Today’s Exercise:

List out what characteristics come up in association with you. If you were to play the game “Guess Who?” what are the top 3 things someone might call out about your character… (not appearance based)?

In comparison, what characteristics WOULD you like to be known for?

And thirdly, when you think about your ideal self, for instance, the self reflected through your visual board.  The person you will become when you meet your goals, what characteristics does that ‘person’ have?

Are there steps and changes in your behavior that you can start asap or look into to become those things?

Sometimes this type of self-reflection is made easier by asking for another’s perspective  or taking a version of a personality test or fun quiz online (this one is a cute fun one that tells you what character on TV you may be like).

When asking another person, keep in mind their descriptor words may vary to a fairly big degree, typically depending factors such as: where they were raised in the world and their frame of reference or background.  That being said, it would be wise to ask or base your evaluation from someone who knows you well or has seen you ‘in action’.  

For example, the list associated with me would most likely consist of the following: 

  • Self-Disciplined / Over achiever
  • Open to new experiences / Take chances and calculated risks
  • Hard to get to know / Quietly bold / mysterious
  • Competitive but team orientated / Quick / Savage
  • Hungry all the time but well hydrated
  • Love most dogs
*(some of this feedback stung – maybe from its accuracy).

Change and self-acceptance

Always stick to your core values and do not be too hard on yourself.  Reason being, this can be an eye opening and difficult exercise to go through.  Remember, it is only meant for self-improvement NOT to beat yourself up! 

If you are pleased with your results of this exercise, keep on ‘you-ing’. Identify the items on the list that resonate with you and praise yourself for those that you have been working on!  For those that you DO agree with, but would like to adjust, begin to observe yourself and make small steps to change.

One great way to get there faster, is to model yourself off someone you admire.  Keeping in mind no one is perfect, having an example can keep you on track!

The more you work toward becoming the person you KNOW you can be – the happier you will become with your personality, the more you can trust yourself and with this comes well founded confidence. 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this – some of your desired characteristics that you feel you embody well and any thoughts on the people you admire the most! 

Page Break

In the process of writing this I came across this board game called “Who’s She?”  So far it looks like it is only available in Europe: https://playeress.com/

Who's She
Board Game

Mighty Women's Stories



2 thoughts on “A rose by any other name”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *